World Teen Mental Wellness Day aims to raise awareness about mental health issues in teenagers, as mental health struggles are common and often go undiagnosed and untreated. Depression is a mood disorder that affects teenagers’ daily functioning, and it is often masked by opioid misuse. Depression and opioid misuse can commonly occur together, as opioid abuse can worsen depression, and depression alone can lead to drug abuse. Teenagers may use prescription painkillers to mask their symptoms of depression, and these medications can also cause addiction.
Opioid abuse in teenagers can result from witnessing domestic violence or substance abuse at home, emotional abuse or neglect from parents or caregivers, and poor academic achievement. The signs and symptoms of opioid intoxication include drowsiness, confusion, slurred speech, constipation, and slow or shallow breathing, while opioid withdrawal effects include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches.
The mainstay treatment approaches for prescription drug treatment for teens include behavioral therapy, family therapy, and recovery support systems. Behavioral therapy focuses on negative thoughts and emotions associated with prescription medication addiction, while family therapy recognizes any unhealthy family dynamics or stressors in the household. Recovery support systems include Assertive Continuing Care, Mutual Help Groups, Peer Recovery Support Services, and Recovery High schools. Seeking professional addiction treatment can help individuals overcome their addiction to substances and assist individuals in treating their underlying mental health disorder.